15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, What’s on Agenda?
14 August, 2023 | Anamika Singh Parihar
15th BRISCS summit is likely to have diversified agenda for the discussion.
The 15th BRICS Summit will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from August 22–24. Earlier this month, PM Modi announced his plan to attend the summit physically while dispelling the rumors about his virtual participation in the summit.
The BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, have grown into a strong alliance of emerging economies in the 21st century. They have become a fundamental support for the global economy, contributing 31.5% of global GDP. BRICS has already overtaken the G7 in Global GDP contribution, which stands at 30%. BRISC is likely to contribute 50% of the global GDP by 2030, following the proposed expansion of the block.
On August 9, Carlos Maria Correa, the executive director of the South Center, while talking with the Chinese News Agency Xinhua, said, “The BRICS summit is expected to make the global governance system fairer and counterbalance the dominance of Western countries.”
According to various sources, the main focus of the 15th BRICS summit will be on the Expansion of the block, De-dollarization, and discussion on global governance as well.
In recent years, various countries, for instance, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and Indonesia, have shown interest in joining the block. Russia has also supported China’s bid to expand the BRICS, as Russia is hoping to turn the block into a counterbalance to the Western nations.
India and Brazil are both cautious about rapidly expanding the BRICS alliance, suggesting that it’s important to establish rules, regulations, and guiding principles before considering expansion, nonetheless, both countries are also quite optimistic about the expansion of the block.
However, framing specific rules and guiding principles regarding expansion is most likely to be on the top agenda of the upcoming G20 summit.
In recent years, the talks on de-dollarization have gained momentum as BRICS countries plan to have their own currency for cross-border trade. Most countries now want to liberate themselves from their dependence on the US dollar.
Experts suggest that the shift away from the US dollar, known as de-dollarization, is being influenced by changing global economic patterns. This trend can bring various advantages to local economies. According to former Brazilian ambassador to China, Marcos Caramuru, using local currencies for trade provides exporters and importers with the ability to manage risks, greater investment choices, and increased confidence in revenue and sales.
Meanwhile, geopolitical concerns have also contributed to the growing demand for de-dollarization. The US decision to freeze Russian foreign currency after its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, prompted various other countries to think about this trend. Various countries are now suspected of facing similar consequences if their actions undermine US interests.
Apart from that, some other important subjects are likely to be discussed at the upcoming G20 summit. Discussion on reform of the global financial system, development of the global south, and global governance, is expected to be the focus of the 15th BRICS summit.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to attend the BRICS summit virtually, but Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Johannesburg to take part in the summit.